San Benito student going to Washington, D.C.

SAN BENITO — In a red coat decorated with two Texas-themed pins, a San Benito student is ready for Capitol Hill.

Incoming sophomore Daniel Bautista will head to Washington, D.C., in September to attend the National SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute.

SkillsUSA is an organization that supports career and technical education.

Daniel joined late last year after SkillsUSA advisor Joel Rodriguez visited his AV Production class to talk to them about the group.

“I was just interested in it,” Daniel said. “He made it sound fun.”

He received the Texas Statesman Award in June qualifying him to attend the institute.

Daniel was given a handbook with information about the organization and their leadership to study.

“First day I got there, I was kind of nervous,” Bautista said. “I thought it was going to be study, study, study.”

Bautista will be one of 50 Texas students that will travel Washington, D.C., for a week.

SkillsUSA breaks up Texas into 13 districts, with the District 13 including the cities from the Valley.

Daniel will be the only student from District 13 to attend the training.

While there, he will have the chance to meet with Congressman Filemon Vela of Texas’ 34th Congressional District.

Rodriguez said it is a chance for students to advocate for technical classes.

“They’re going to tell them how important career and technology is to students so they won’t get rid of courses like TV production,” Rodriguez said.

Daniel said he likes that the organization promotes professionalism and the importance of technical classes.

“I really like how it is advocating (Career and Technology Education) and we can have courses like these that can interest students and open up a lot of opportunities through leadership,” Daniel said.

He is also a part of his school’s JROTC organization and finds similarities between the two groups.

“They both teach you leadership qualities like how to stand out and how to take charge,” Daniel said.

He plans to continue with both organizations at San Benito High School and work toward an AV internship for his junior year.

What is SkillsUSA?

It’s a national organization that creates a partnership among students, teachers and industry representatives to ensure America has a skilled workforce.